Bill Gaither fans got more than their money's worth last week at the Homecoming Tour at the Toyota Center in Kennewick.
Ticketholders, practically none of whom appeared to be under 50, had to endure hard seats for more than four hours while gospel artists sang a seeming endless collection of praise music.
The Bill Gaither Homecoming and Friends in the Tri-Cities was far from a sellout, but those who missed out can lament what surely is being remembered as a concert that delivered plenty for the admission price.
The Gaither Vocal Band featured Wes Hampton, David Phelps, Mark Lowery, who did indeed solo his inspired number, Mary Did You Know?, and the powerful and emotional voice of Michael English.
Pianist Gordon Mote left no doubt about his gift on the keyboard, accompanying nearly every number all evening.
There was plenty to praise, from the Isaacs with their bluegrass melodies, to the Martins, a brother/sisters group that gives close a capella harmony an uncanny oneness, to Buddy Green's phenomenal finesse with the harmonica.
The energy never stopped, and the sound was, well, so complete, so sweet and so good it penetrated the soul.
The audience stood, hands lifted, sang and waved miniature lights (distributed free) at the concert in appreciation during one worship song after another.
And the incredible thing was, Gaither and the Homecoming Tour did it all again the next night in Portland, and then another night elsewhere and again and again, and the tour just keeps on.
*John Trumbo: 582-1529; firstname.lastname@example.org